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A10 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5, 1997 GREAT PLAINS THE SALINA JOURNAL Missing / has OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING Kansas judge to sentence Fortier left family frustrated FROM PAGE A1 It was about that time that Randy Parker began calling Bobbi's friends, the police department, the local hospital. Then, he called the reformatory to ask Randolph Dial, a convicted murderer and inmate who worked as a yard boy for the Parkers, whether he'd seen anything strange around the house that day. "When they said he wasn't on the work detail, I asked them to do a count, and he came up missing," Randy Parker said. Within minutes after that discovery, Clara Cline called Randy Parker to report the strange telephone call from Bobbi. Then, it all fit together — Dial had escaped from the reformatory, and he'd taken Bobbi with him. • "I went to pieces," Clara Cline said. Didn't seem to be a threat The Parker house was the first outside the gates of the prison, Cline said. Because the house was on state property, inmates were assigned to do yard work for the Parkers. Cline said Dial, who was convicted of killing a Broken Arrow, Okla., man, had been tending the flower beds, mowing the lawn and performing other chores for about six months. Dial, an accomplished painter and potter, also used a kiln in the Parkers' garage to fire his clay pieces. Cline said Bobbi often gave Dial and other yard boys cool drinks and cookies while they worked, and she supervised them as they pulled weeds in the flower beds. "She was good to everybody," Cline said. "She always had a little time for everybody, and a kind word." Cline said her three sons had visited Bobbi two days before she disappeared and had met Dial. No one seemed to consider him a danger. A longtime prison employee, Randy Parker said he'd learned to read the prisoners and could tell which ones were risks. He'd known Dial for about 18 months. "He didn't seem to be a threat at -all," Randy Parker said. "I saw him that morning even, as I was going to work, and he didn't seem to act any differently." But Dial was a threat. Larry Bennett, a special agent in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections fugitive apprehension unit, said authorities believe Dial abducted Bobbi as she left her house in her minivan to go shopping about 11 a.m. Aug. 30. There were no obvious signs of a struggle at the Parker house, Bennett said, but there was no sign that Bobbi had gone willingly, either. Cline said Bobbi had recently been prescribed an antibiotic for an infection, and the half-empty bottle remained on her bathroom sink. She took no clothing, no jewelry, no other belongings. The Parker van was found abandoned' in Wichita Falls, Texas, two days after the pair disappeared. Inside, Bennett said, were cigarette butts, wadded balls of duct tape and wadded pieces of brown wrapping paper. Authorities can't know for sure, but Bennett said he believed the cigarettes had been smoked by Dial, and that the tape might have been used to bind Bobbi. By the time the van was found, Parker had made two more phone calls: one to a former boss in Woodward, Okla., and one to her brother's house in Lawton, Okla. She asked both her boss and her brother's wife to tell her children good night, and told them that she was being taken care of, Cline said. Bennett said the first two calls Bobbi placed had been made from a shopping mall in a Dallas suburb, and the third was made from Houston. Authorities don't know how Dial might have gotten from Wichita Falls to Dallas. One-of-a-klnd case In the first few months after the kidnapping and escape, Bennett College listed for building character iy The Journal Staff McPHERSON — McPherson College has made the John Templeton Foundation's Honor Roll for Character-Building Colleges. It was one of 134 colleges and universities so honored. Each was evaluated on five criteria: inspiring the development of moral reasoning skills; encouraging spiritual growth and moral values; providing community-building experiences; advocating a drug- free lifestyle and assessing character-building programs and activities. "My daughter was one of those outstanding people, an exceptional person. She dearly loved her family, she loved her work. She was a kind, generous person." Clara Cline speaking of her daughter Bobbi Parker, who has been missing for three years McVeigh's friend was given deal to testify in Nichols, McVeigh trials By The Associated Press OKLAHOMA CITY — The chief federal judge in Kansas will handle the sentencing of Oklahoma City bombing witness Michael Fortier, court officials said Friday. U.S. District Judge Thomas Van Bebber was designated a visiting judge in Oklahoma City's federal court in Fortier's case. Bebber is based in Kansas City, Kan. Judge Stephanie Seymour of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals made the appointment earlier this week. Seymour's order allows Bebber to handle the case in Oklahoma City. Fortier, 28, pleaded guilty to conspiring with friend Timothy McVeigh to take stolen guns from Kansas to Arizona in December 1994. He also pleaded guilty to ly-. ing initially about McVeigh's role in the April 19,1995, blast. McVeigh was sentenced to death in June for the bombing that killed 168 people. Fortier's sentencing will be scheduled after he testifies for the government in the trial of bombing defendant Terry Nichols. Chief U.S. District Judge David Russell removed himself from the case last month because of a 10th Circuit ruling that a reasonable person could doubt the impartiality of Oklahoma City federal judges. said information about the case was broadcast nationwide on the television shows "America's Most Wanted," "Unsolved Mysteries" and "A Current Affair." After each show, more than 200 calls poured in, leading investigators all across the country chasing down information. But no tip panned out. "The case received tremendous national exposure early on," Bennett said. "We did everything humanly possible to find them." At one point,, authorities thought they were close to nabbing Dial in Houston, Bennett said. "Much to our dismay, there was nothing to put us on his trail and to recover Bobbi," Bennett said. "We have not had a viable lead since Houston." Authorities also placed information about the kidnapping and escape, along with Dial's photo, on the Internet, hoping for leads. And after learning that he spoke Spanish and might have lived in Mexico at one time, they searched extensively in that country. "We went to extensive efforts there and never came up with anything substantial," Bennett said. "For a case that has received this kind of media attention and manpower nationally, it's one of a kind." Randy Parker has spent money of his own on the search. Several times he's hired private investiga^ tors and bounty hunters to track leads, spending a total of about $25,000. That included his own money and money^ raised by friends and family. Two months ago, when someone reported to him that Dial had been sighted, he sent out an investigator who came back empty- handed. "Nothing at all has panned out," Randy Parker said. Frustrated with law officers As authorities continue to follow every lead that comes through — and they're becoming fewer and fewer as time passes — Parker's family continues to hope that someday she'll be found alive. During the three-month wait to find out if the body found in Oklahoma was Bobbi's, the stress was incredible, Cline said. "But just think of all the other months we've lived through," she said. "My husband just kept saying, 'It can't be Bobbi.' " The first few months after Bobbi's disappearance, Cline said she was almost positive her daughter was dead. But as time passes and her body isn't found, her mother is more hopeful that Bobbi will be found alive. Randy Parker holds out hope as well. He and his daughters stayed in Granite for about six months after Bobbi was kidnapped, but living in the same house with their mother gone was too much for the girls. The family moved to Alva, where Randy Parker and Bobbi met as college students. "In a way, we've come back home," he said. While birthdays and holidays are times of depression instead of joy these days, Randy Parker said the family is coping with Bobbi's loss, and praying every day that she'll come home. "The hope is always there," he said. It might be a bit easier if the family believed law enforcement agencies were doing all they could to find Bobbi. But Cline is discouraged with the stalled investigation, saying the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which has issued a warrant for Dial for flight to avoid prosecution, isn't diligently investigating the case. Cline said she has been writing letters to FBI Director Louis Freeh weekly requesting information, and every few months she has received a letter saying the agency is doing all it can. But last week, Cline's letter was returned unopened, refused by the addressee. Randy Parker said the myriad of law enforcement agencies investigating the kidnapping — the FBI, the Oklahoma City Metro Fugitive Squad, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections — don't seem to be sharing information or cooperating. And the FBI won't keep him up-to-date on leads and information. "I don't have a lot of faith in the FBI," Randy Parker said. "I'm not blaming them, but we just aren't getting anywhere. We just need to get this over with." 'She made us a lot richer' Cline still hopes that one day, her daughter will call or be found, and the family will be whole again. But she's not the type of person who looks back with remorse, regretting missed opportunities to express her love for her daughter. Bobbi was born in 1962, after her father had undergone surgery.. She was the second of four children and the only girl. She was named Bobbi Luaine, after her parents, Bobby Wayne and Clara Louise. ' "She was the bright spot we had that year," Cline said. "She was a beautiful baby, and she grew up to be very attractive." . Through high school, Bobbi was a cheerleader and was involved in 4-H, FFA and school and church clubs. A pastor once remarked that she'd done everything in high school but teach. And she did that later, earning a degree in education and teaching inmates at an Oklahoma prison before moving with her husband to Granite. "My daughter was one of those outstanding people, an exceptional person," Cline said. "She dearly loved her family, she loved her work. She was a kind, sweet, generous person, "She made life a lot richer for us." 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